On March 14, 1879 — 136 years ago today — Albert Einstein, one of the most influential theoretical physicists in history, was born. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity radically transformed humans’ view of the universe; and his work in particle and energy theory contributed to the development of quantum mechanics. In 1905, at the age of 26, Einstein earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Zurich while he worked at the Swiss patent office. During the year (1905), Einstein wrote 5 pioneering papers that would have a profound effect on man’s understanding of the universe:
(1) In a ground-breaking paper entitled, “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Lights,” Einstein proposed that light was composed of individual quanta, “photon” particles, which could collectively behave as a wave. This proposal was instrumental in the formation of quantum theory. In formulating this proposal, Einstein studied the photoelectric effect — some solids emit electrically charged particles when light hits them. His observations about the photoelectric effect eventually won him a Nobel Prize in Physics (1921).
(2) In another paper helping to prove the existence of atoms, Einstein put forth a displacement formula to calculate the size and atoms in a given space.
(3) In yet another 1905 paper, Einstein explained in precise detail, via a mathematical expression, the constant erratic motion of particles suspended in a fluid (a phenomenon named “Brownian motion,” after the initial observer, botanist Robert Brown). Einstein explanations in papers (2) and (3) provided conclusive evidence for the existence of atoms.
(4) Einstein’s 4th pioneering paper of 1905 was on the subject of “special relativity” theory — time and space are not independent entities, but are dependent on the motion of the observer, and the speed of light is a constant to all observers everywhere.
(5) In a final 1905 paper, Einstein explored the mathematics of his special relativity theory and concluded that mass and energy were equivalent and could be determined by the formula, E=mc2.
Also, on this day, math lovers celebrate “Pi Day.” Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and it is constant for all circles regardless of their size. For any circle, it turns out that the exact ratio can never be determined (even though the ratio is the same for all circles) because no recognizable digital pattern emerges when any circle’s circumference is divided by its diameter. Computer scientists using supercomputers have calculated billions of divisional digits, and it appears there is no repeatable pattern of numbers into infinity. But the number always starts out: 3.1415 (or today’s date — a once in a hundred year occurrence — and Einstein’s birthday, every year, 3.14!).
•Albert Einstein—The Quantum Theory (2014) (1:29:52): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0hwuyOmd4k
•The Magic and Mystery of Pi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcIbCZR0HbU
•What is Pi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mz7xU3zZvk
• A. Einstein: Autobiographical Notes by Albert Einstein. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812691792/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0812691792&linkCode=as2&tag=historyknowledge-20&linkId=IKEX3CAIXV255MDW
• –Einstein: His Life and Universe_ by Walter Isaacson. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743264746/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0743264746&linkCode=as2&tag=historyknowledge-20&linkId=RZETLWEJJSBC2YCE
•Left Bottom: Pi 3/14/15 will be epic: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2014/03/14/an-ode-to-pi-on-pi-day-best-pi-jokes/
•Right: Albert Einstein at about age 26. By Lucien Chavan  (1868 - 1942), a friend of Einstein's when he was living in Berne. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEinstein_patentoffice.jpg
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